The next lord chancellor must be someone whose ’experience is combined with the requisite authority among ministerial colleagues’ to defend the independence of the judiciary, the bar’s representative body says today in a thinly veiled attack on Liz Truss.
In its ‘Manifesto for Justice’ published in the run-up to the general election, the Bar Council gave top billing to ‘judicial independence’, claiming that Truss ‘did not stand up for the judges who were attacked by the press as 'enemies of the people'.’ It says the next government must demonstrate its commitment to uphold the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.
Elsewhere, the manifesto calls for ‘appropriate funding’ for the legal system, noting that ’solicitors and barristers who were once prepared to undertake publicly-funded work are choosing not to do so because the rates of pay have become so low.’
Echoing the Law Society’s manifesto published on Friday, the bar says the government must review the consequences of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, which greatly cut back the scope of legal aid.
On Brexit, the bar manifesto warns ’Unless a strategic plan for the future of our legal services is devised and delivered, our exit from the EU will damage the international market value of the legal services sector, and undermine acquired rights and protections for our citizens and for our environment.’
The Conservative Party manifesto is expected to be published later this week, with Labour following next week.